DIVORCE

'Desperate' Prince Charles Wanted To Back Out Of His Wedding To Princess Diana, New Book Claims

02/05/2015 01:05 pm ET | Updated Feb 05, 2015
Anwar Hussein via Getty Images

It's no secret that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were never as perfect a match as they initially seemed, but a new claim that Charles was "desperate" to back out of the 1981 royal wedding makes the marriage seem like an especially bad idea in hindsight.

In a new unauthorized biography, Charles: Heart Of A King, author Catherine Mayer writes that Charles wanted to call off marrying Lady Diana Spencer.

According to The Telegraph, Mayer -- who interviewed members of the Prince's inner circle -- details a moment on the night before his wedding when a "desperate" Charles reportedly told an aide, “I can’t go through with it ... I can't do it."

He is also said to have confessed Diana was “not the jolly country girl he had assumed."

Charles wasn't alone in his doubts about the relationship. In a famous account from the 1992 book Diana: Her True Story, for which the Princess of Wales covertly cooperated with author Andrew Morton, Diana told her sisters just days before the wedding that she didn't think she could marry Charles because he was still carrying a torch for Camilla Parker Bowles.

"...I went upstairs, had lunch with my sisters who were there and said: 'I can't marry him, I can't do this, this is absolutely unbelievable.' They were wonderful and said: 'Well, bad luck, Duch, your face is on the tea towels so you're too late to chicken out.' So we made light of it."

Later revelations aside, the pair shared an awkward pre-wedding interview in which they couldn't have looked more uncomfortable when asked about their engagement.

“I had a long time to think about it, because I knew the pressure was on both of us. And, um … it wasn’t a difficult decision in the end. It’s what I wanted," Diana said, adding quickly, "It’s what I want.”

Asked if they were in love, Charles followed up Diana's quick "of course" with the infamous line: "Whatever love means."

Spoiler alert: The couple divorced 14 years later.

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    Prince Charles (L) and his brother Prince Andrew, who is the best-man, arrive at St. Paul's Cathedral.
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    Nancy Reagan, wife of the American President, leaves Winfield House (residence of the Ambassador) for St Paul's Cathedral for Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding.
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    Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip ride in the semi-state coach to St Paul's Cathedral.
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    The Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie blesses Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana during the marriage service in St Paul's Cathedral.
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    Charles, Prince of Wales, bows and his bride, Lady Diana, curtsies to Queen Elizabeth as they leave St Paul's Cathedral.
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    Charles, Prince of Wales, and bride, Lady Diana, wave the crowd in coach as they pass through Fleet Street.
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    Charles, Prince of Wales, and bride, Lady Diana, wave the crowd in coach as they pass through Fleet Street after their wedding.
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    A group of American's from North Carolina's have a front row position in Fleet Street.
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    An official family photo taken on 29 July 1981, the wedding day of Prince Charles (C-R) and Lady Diana (C-L), the Princess of Wales. Back Row, from L - R: Mark Phillips, Prince Andrew, Viscount Linley, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, the Princely Couple, Ruth, Lady Fermoy (the bride's grandmother), Lady Jane Fellowes (the bride's sister), Viscount Althorp (Diana's brother) and Robert Fellowes. Center row, from L - R: Princess Anne, Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, India Hicks, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Mrs. Shand Kydd (Diana's mother) Count Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquedale (Diana's sister), Neil McCorquedale. Front row: ushers and bridesmaids.
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